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For those who have followed my reviews through the years, I am pretty lenient on hardcore releases considering I am pretty picky with the genre. I have been able to review some great hardcore albums which in turn added some respect points from me. Having said that, I am perplexed when it comes to The Suffering Spirit (Good Fight) from New Jersey’s Old Wounds. I found myself absolutely in love with some of the tracks and then others had me holding my face in my hands, impatiently waiting for the next track. A positive pointer for me is I enjoy the harsh vocals for the most part. The clean vocals, however, seemed a little bland and just came off as simply a needful break from the harsh vocals. Instrumentally, Old Wounds is a tightly captained ship that sounds like what you would expect from a modern hardcore band. Oh and breakdowns. It might just be impossible to have a hardcore band write music without a breakdown nowadays.
The album opener, ‘Rest in Piss’, had a great feel for the opening track in an attempt to set the mood across all eleven tracks. Each time through The Suffering Spirit, this song would get me excited to hear the rest, but I only enjoyed a few other tracks. ‘The Secret Song at the Center of the World’ was one of the tracks that grabbed my attention once again with its slow tempo and sluggish personality. The same sort of characteristics seen in this track are seen later on in the album on ‘Moral Hex. These two tracks alone will get your head banging. I feel as if Old Wounds went for a more mature sound on these two tracks and really hit the nail on the head, unlike most of the remainder of the album. The final track, ‘Desecrate’, was one of the more interesting tracks on the album. Not only is this the longest track at over four minutes, but it sounded like a Mudvayne song with hardcore elements over it.
As a whole, I was not feeling Old Wound’s latest album. In no way did I think this was an awful album either, just not that exciting. In a larger spectrum, when it comes to modern hardcore, this latest release from the Jersey foursome is certainly one of the better ones I have listened to.
Southeast Beast Festival 2015 will be held April 4-5, 2015 at Aqua in Jacksonville, FL. Here is a list of confirmed acts so far:
New Found Glory (playing “Sticks & Stones“)
Life Of Agony
Earth Crisis (playing “Destroy The Machines“)
A Loss For Words (final appearance)
Boys No Good
Crime In Stereo
The Orphan The Poet
This Wild Life
Wisdom In Chains
The meeting of Crust punk, hardcore and metal is by no means an original concept, just look at the plethora of bands in recent years that the likes of Black Breath and Trap Them have opened the doors to, and it is certainly a formula that New Jersey upstarts Old Wounds are not adding any real creativity to on their debut EP Death Projection (Good Fight), but it does prove that they pack a punch.
With only 4 tracks and an overall playing time of approximately 10 minutes, Death Projection is a short, sharp kick to the gonads of raw, sweaty metallic tinged punk. All the traits you can expect are present, from the rabid bark at the front to the blistering energy backing it. At 3 minutes long the curiously titled ‘Epilogue of a Possession’ is the most interesting prospect on the EP, with a more black metal style riffing at first before drifting into a cleaner, eerie tone.
There may not be a huge amount of uniqueness about these guys but there are hints of out of the box thinking. Where they really prove themselves is in their visceral vigor which holds them as ones to watch for.